According to reports in the Uzbek media today the highly touted Shakhram Giyasov (6-0, 5) [Shahram G‘iyosov] will be fighting in Tashkent, at the 34,000 seater Milliy Stadium.
The Uzbek fighter has had an excellent 2018, fighting 6 times in the year, beating notable foes like Albert Mensah, Julio Laguna and Miguel Zamudio.
Although regarded as a top Uzbek prospect he's yet to actually fight as a professional in his native homeland, where he's expected to spend the new year. He has fought in the UK and the US, actually fighting in Wembley for one of those fights, so to see him make a home coming next year will be huge news for the Uzbek boxing scene.
Interestingly there's not been a date mentioned for the fight, but the suspicion is that the bout will take place on a major show, which may feature several other Uzbek's in high profile bouts, thanks to the backing of Giyasov's promoter World of Boxing, who also promote fellow Uzbek's Isrial Madrimov (1-0, 1) [Isroil Madrimov] and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович].
We're expecting more on this story in January as the plans begin to develop for the show.
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
Unbeaten Uzbek prospect Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4)* [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] successfully made his first defense of the WBA Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title this evening, stopping American Isaac Zarate (16-4-3, 2), who was world ranked by 3 of the 4 world title bodies.
The fight started slowly, with both men feeling out the other. It was clear from very early on that Zarate was going to be the man fighting off the back foot whilst Akhmadaliev used his quick feet to to move in and out, and see how Zarate would respond. Despite using his quick feet Akhmadaliev really didn't make Zarate pay too much in the opening round, at least not until late in the round when he began to find his range and timing.
In the second round both men put their foot on the gas a little. Sadly for Zarate that wasn't good news as Akhmadaliev landed the harder, cleaner and more consistent blows, rocking the American late in the round as he began to hunt his man down.
Akhmadaliev would continue to move through the gears in round 3, forcing Zarate to fight fire with fire, something that didn't suit Zarate, who was hurt early in the round and forced to take some very solid shots as the round went on. The aggression continued to flow from Akhmadaliev in round 4, as he began bust Zarate with stiff jabs, hard left hands and nasty looking shots to the body. To his credit Zarate was taking the shots well, but he was having to take very clean shots which were clearly going to be adding up.
In round 5 Akhmadaliev again moved up a gear, landing headshots with both hands and making Zarate pay for having a very low guard before going to the body when Zarate was on the ropes. Zarate continued to fight back, but was being chipped away at, round by round.
Despite being in control Akhmadaliev was given the riot act by his corner man after round 5, and it seemed to light a fire under his backside as he set off for round 6 with bad intentions. He quickly upped the pace, banged the body of Zarate and went out looking for a finish. Zarate again showed his toughness, taking some big clean shots and firing back at times, but it was clear that Akhmadaliev was starting to really hurt his man.
Akhmadaliev continued to drill Zarate in round 7, landing powerful left hands up top and to the body, switching at will. Zarate however looked weary, his shots had nothing on them, and his movement was becoming slower as the accumulation took it's toll. It seemed like Akhmadaliev couldn't miss his man with his left hand, right jab or right hook, and the slower Zarate became the cleaner the shots landed, with Zarate failing to really ride them.
In round 8 the gutsy Zarate tried to push Akhmadaliev backwards, though found himself on the ropes a bit too often and took hard shots as a result. Even Zarate found his way from he took hard shots, and ended the round eating a combination of brutal looking headshots from Akhmadaliev, who looked too strong, too quick, too skilled, too energetic and too powerful for Zarate. It didn't matter what Zarate didn't, he couldn't trouble Akhmadaliev.
In round 9 the pressure from Akhmadaliev finally forced the referee to save Zarate, who was staggered by 3 clean head shots, after having been caught clean a few too many times. By then Zarate had shown no ability to hurt Akhmadaliev and would have been a very long way behind on the cards.
Sadly this was Akhmadaliev's HBO debut, and whilst HBO tried to sell him like a star it felt like it was a wasted effort given that this is their penultimate show. Zarate proved his toughness, but was clearly out of his depth, whilst Akhmadaliev got a good work out but never really under any pressure.
Later today fight fans will be able to see promising Uzbek Murodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0, 3) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] make his first defense of the WBA Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title, defending the belt against American foe Isaac Zarate (16-3-3, 2).
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, and both men made weight and looked in sensational shape for the bout.
On the scales the champion was 121.25lbs and looked in the best shape of his career so far. He's risking both his title and his WBA #3 ranking, though knows that a win here pushes him within touching distance of a world title fight in 2019.
Zarate on the other hand was 122lbs dead on, and is himself ranked #6 by the WBA, #12 by the WBO and #15 by the IBF. He'll know that a win will also move him towards a world title fight, though is risking his other rankings to head towards a WBA shot.
(Image courtesy of Olamsport.uz)
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